July 21, 2016

by David Hertz

Snapshots from downtown is a brief roundup of what the D&E team is seeing, hearing and doing leading up to and during the Republican National Convention. For all posts like this, click here.


10 a.m.: JobsOhio and the 2016 Host Committee have collaborated to organize a series of panels geared to economic development. Topics included the future of education, innovative technology, workforce development, urban development and energy.

Beth Mooney, CEO of KeyCorp and co-chair of the 2016 Host Committee, moderated a panel on urban revitalization. A number of area business and government leaders attended, including Joe Roman, President and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, Chris Ronayne, President of University Circle Inc., County Executive Armond Budish and Joe Marinucci, President and CEO of the Downtown Cleveland Alliance.

During her opening remarks, Mooney spoke fervently of the city’s economic development achievements and the challenges that remain.

“The Cleveland we are building is going to be strong for years to come,” Mooney said, stressing the value of the public-private partnerships that have bolstered the city.

Paul Clark, Regional president of PNC Bank, addressed the role that his bank and KeyBank play in Cleveland. “We are fiercely competitive by day and collaborative by night” to benefit the city, he said.

Team NEO CEO Bill Koehler praised the collaboration of area economic development organizations across the region. “Northeast Ohio is fortunate that economic development organizations are engaged” in the region’s growth strategies, he said.

Other panelists included Bill Emerson, CEO of Quicken Loans, and Republican U.S. Rep. French Hill from Arizona.

(Team NEO, KeyBank and Greater Cleveland Partnership are Dix & Eaton clients.)

̶  David Hertz

Noon: One of the media’s dominant themes throughout the RNC has been the role of women in the election and in society. There have been multiple events downtown examining the power of women voters, the influence of female Trump supporters and the growing political involvement of millennial women voters.

The Atlantic hosted “Pathways to Power: An Atlantic Forum on Women in Politics,” underwritten by three other organizations  ̶  Running Start, She Should Run, and All in Together  ̶ at the Blue Point Grille. The room was wall-to-wall with reporters.

The panel began with an open forum with Republican U.S. Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, who predicted Republican women would take the lead in uniting the GOP in advance of the general election.  She ended her speech by saying she was hopeful that in the future, women would take a stronger lead in politics. “You have to define yourself, because if you don’t, other people will (define you),” she said.

̶  Brooke Hollowell

Noon: The fourth and final day of the RNC had a different feel to it.  There were fewer people on the streets, possibly due to the 90-degree weather.  In Public Square, only a few small protest groups had  gathered in sections. The fountain, which had been turned off since Monday, was on, sending up little jets of water and filling the shallow oval reflecting pool.  Kids ran through the fountain to cool off while the police played ping-pong with visitors outside the Rebol Café.  Dancers moved in unison on the grassy field across the square.

̶  Dave Loomis